DALLAS, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, considered to be the "father of the Tea Parties," is facing GOP primary election opponents with ties to the groups, analysts say.
Even though the libertarian Paul is revered by some in the grassroots conservative movement, his opponents won't cut the former U.S. presidential candidate any slack, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Tim Graney, one of Paul's opponents, told the newspaper: "The Tea Parties have awakened a lot of everyday people here and across America. And Ron Paul is worried about getting swept up in the anti-incumbent wave as if he is some exception."
"The Republican Party left its principles," added another opponent, Gerald Wall. "And these Tea Parties are filled with people who want to take back our party."
The Morning News said the Tea Party movement has moved well beyond Paul's core of supporters, which he reportedly has acknowledged. But after the antagonistic tone of some the movement's recent rallies, he has reportedly moved to distance himself from the Tea Parties.
"Dr. Paul is proud to play a small role in getting this phenomenon going," campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said. Paul is a physician.